\ ˈfīt How to pronounce fight (audio) \
fought\ ˈfȯt How to pronounce fought (audio) \; fighting

Definition of fight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to contend in battle or physical combat especially : to strive to overcome a person by blows or weapons The soldiers fought bravely.
b : to engage in boxing He will fight for the heavyweight title next month.
2 : to put forth a determined effort They were fighting to stay awake.

transitive verb

1a(1) : to contend against in or as if in battle or physical combat fought the invaders of his homeland was fighting a forest fire
(2) : to box against in the ring fought several strong contenders
b(1) : to attempt to prevent the success or effectiveness of the company fought the takeover attempt
(2) : to oppose the passage or development of fight a bill in Congress
2a : wage, carry on fight a battle
b : to take part in (a boxing match or similar contest)
3 : to struggle to endure or surmount fight a cold is fighting cancer
4a : to gain by struggle fights his way through
b : to resolve by struggle fought out their differences in court
5a : to manage (a ship) in a battle or storm
b : to cause to struggle or contend
c : to manage in an unnecessarily rough or awkward manner
fight shy of
: to avoid facing or meeting



Definition of fight (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a hostile encounter : battle, combat
b : a boxing match
c : a verbal disagreement : argument
2 : a struggle for a goal or an objective a fight for justice
3 : strength or disposition for fighting : pugnacity still full of fight

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Examples of fight in a Sentence

Verb When he was young he was always fighting. He fought like a tiger. The U.S. and Germany fought in World Wars I and II. They vowed to fight the invaders of their homeland. The U.S. fought Germany in World Wars I and II. He and his wife are always fighting over money. We were fighting to protect our jobs. Noun A fight broke out in the bar. When he was young he was always getting into fights. He got into another fight with his wife about money. a fight for the heavyweight title
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Franklin 1, Mansfield 0 — Sophomore Terry O’Neil’s goal in the 10th minute was all the Panthers (2-1-2) needed to fight off the Hornets (1-3)., "Duxbury, however, was a measuring stick for the Wamps.," 17 Sep. 2019 At the opposite end of the spectrum, James Bullard of the St. Louis Fed has argued for a steep half-point cut to demonstrate the Fed's resolve to fight off a potential recession. CBS News, "Federal Reserve expected to cut interest rates on Wednesday," 17 Sep. 2019 The units came into existence to fight off the invasion of the Islamic State in 2014. New York Times, "Iraq Faces a New Adversary: Crystal Meth," 14 Sep. 2019 Public health organizations around the world have been fighting for global eradication of polio since 1988. Patricia L. Foster, The Conversation, "A newly designed vaccine may help stamp out remaining polio cases worldwide," 13 Sep. 2019 European Central Bank rate decision, outgoing chief Mario Draghi was asked to pull off the impossible—to fight off recession, to keep Europe’s biggest commercial banks happy and to somehow not antagonize President Trump. Eric J. Lyman, Fortune, "Outgoing ECB Chief Mario Draghi Managed to Anger the Germans and Donald Trump with an Interest Rate Cut," 12 Sep. 2019 Mitchel and Hapgood, a former Dartmouth athlete, fought. Ezra Marcus, Town & Country, "In Anguilla, Scott Hapgood Awaits His Fate," 10 Sep. 2019 After experiencing a tumultuous divorce in 2010, owner Maggie Linenberg turned to a familiar combination to help fight the demons threating to take over her mental health: fitness and friends. Heather Balogh Rochfort, The Know, "Kicking the crap out of Bob: Colorado’s first kickboxing studio for women opens," 4 Sep. 2019 Rendille, Samburu and Turkana communities lived on the concession land and shared – and sometimes fought – over its resources. Zoe Cormack, Quartz Africa, "Kenya’s huge wind power project might be great for the environment but not for local communities," 3 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun No emerging-market contenders have stepped forward so far, however, and there appears to be little appetite among member countries for a fight with the Trump administration, according to a person familiar with the selection process. Washington Post, "What a World Bank Critic Might Do as Its President," 18 Sep. 2019 The story follows a family of four whose encounter with these wild animals becomes a terrifying fight for survival. Ben Flanagan |, al, "Watch ‘Jurassic World’ short film starring Alabama’s Andre Holland," 17 Sep. 2019 The past decade of hoops began with a rock fight in the Finals and ended at the peak of the three-point revolution. Michael Shapiro,, "SI's NBA All-Decade Team: Second Team," 17 Sep. 2019 Lawson is accused of punching a student in the jaw without warning when called to the school to defuse a large fight. Fox News, "Indianapolis cop accused of punching student facing criminal charges, prosecutors say," 16 Sep. 2019 To start with, there would be a huge fight about whether the United States is a Christian country. Louis Michael Seidman, Harper's magazine, "Constitution in Crisis," 16 Sep. 2019 But Saturday afternoon, some of that peacefulness vanished when cyclists and moped riders got into a fight in the middle of a Cheesman Park street. Ivan Rodriguez, The Denver Post, "Fight in Cheesman Park between cyclists and scooter riders caught on video," 15 Sep. 2019 The shooting stemmed from a fight that began around 3:20 a.m. May 1 outside White Castle, 55 W. South St. , in Downtown Indianapolis. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana judge remains suspended while Indiana high court investigates White Castle shooting," 11 Sep. 2019 The documents were unsealed in July after a year-long legal fight by The Washington Post and the owner of the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia. Anchorage Daily News, "‘Tactic 8’ in the secret drug industry plan to defeat the DEA: Find a champion in Congress," 14 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fight.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fight


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for fight

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English feohtan; akin to Old High German fehtan to fight and perhaps to Latin pectere to comb — more at pectinate

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Statistics for fight

Last Updated

2 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for fight

The first known use of fight was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for fight


How to pronounce fight (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to use weapons or physical force to try to hurt someone, to defeat an enemy, etc. : to struggle in battle or physical combat
: to be involved in (a battle, struggle, etc.)
: to argue in an angry way



English Language Learners Definition of fight (Entry 2 of 2)

: a violent physical struggle between opponents
: an argument or quarrel
: a boxing match


\ ˈfīt How to pronounce fight (audio) \
fought\ ˈfȯt \; fighting

Kids Definition of fight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to struggle in battle or in physical combat
2 : to argue angrily : quarrel
3 : to try hard She fought to stay awake.
4 : to struggle against fight discrimination

Other Words from fight

fighter noun



Kids Definition of fight (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a meeting in battle or in physical combat
3 : strength or desire for fighting After being wrongly blamed, I was full of fight.

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More from Merriam-Webster on fight

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fight

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fight

Spanish Central: Translation of fight

Nglish: Translation of fight for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fight for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fight

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an agreement to stop fighting a war

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